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by JJ Del
Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Dark · #2217055
Chapter Seven
I stretch my body which is sore all over and it aches from the cold. I open my gray eyes slowly and I am instantly on my feet. There is a man in a black uniform standing less than five feet from me. This man has a confused expression on his face. Who is this man? Why is he here? How long has he been standing there? Fear grips my chest but I force it down for I cannot afford to feel afraid at the moment.

The man asks, “Did you really sleep out here last night?”

I answer, “Yes.”

The man asks, “You’re joking right?”

I respond, “No.”

The man asks, “Why didn’t you go to a shelter?”

I ask for I am confused, “What is a shelter?”

The man sighs but he is patient with me, “A shelter is for people who don’t have a home. You could have stayed in one to keep warm.”

I ask, “Who are you?”

The man says, “Zeke Fires and you are?”

I say, “Lexis West.”

Zeke says, “I am not going to harm you. You look terrified.”

I say as I take a step away from the wall, “I’m not that scared.”

Zeke says, “You must be freezing.”

I shyly admit, “Yes I am.”

Zeke asks, “So why didn’t you go to a shelter? There are several shelters here in Oakville.”

I say, “I was unaware that any place like that existed.”

Zeke looks me over, “Are you okay Lexis?”

I ask, “What do you mean?”

Zeke asks, “How could you not know about shelters?”

I shiver and shake, “I don’t know much right now.”

Zeke is now the one confused, “What do you mean by that?”

Tears come to my eyes, “Something bad has happened to me I think.”

Zeke asks, “Can you tell me what you think has happened?”

Tears flow freely down my cheeks, “My head … I cannot remember a damn thing. All I can remember is my name and everything else is a blank. It is like my memories have been erased.”

Zeke looks me over, “Look, I normally don’t do this …”

I shiver as I say, “Do what?”

Zeke says, “Invite people up to my apartment. But you look absolutely frigid.”

I ask, “You live here?”

Zeke says, “Yes. My apartment is on the third floor. If you come up stairs with me you can take a hot shower, I will lend you some clothes to change into, you can have a hot cup of coffee, and a decent hot breakfast.”

I reply as my stomach rumbles loudly, “As much as I would like to say yes to your offer I must decline.”

Zeke says, “I swear I will not hurt you.”

I ask as I stare at his hips, “Why are you wearing a gun?”

Zeke replies, “I am a police officer. I protect and serve the public. Please come up and get warm.”

I say, “I really shouldn’t …”

Zeke asks, “But?”

I ask, “You swear you won’t harm me?”

Zeke says, “I give you my word.”

I say, “Okay and thank you so much.”

Zeke takes his jacket off and he places his jacket around my shoulders, “With everything you have been through you are lucky you are not dead.”

I ask, “Why do you say that?”

Zeke explains, “Because this alleyway is one of the most dangerous areas in this city.”

I ask, “It is?”

Zeke says, “There have been drug deals, drug use, prostitutes servicing their clients, gangs, shootings, and
stabbings. That is why I was so shocked you said you spent the night here.”

Zeke guides me to the front of the building and we enter through the front doors. Zeke stops at the elevator and we wait for a couple of minutes and then we ride up to the third floor. I am actually starting to warm up a little by being inside. My toes even hurt because they are so cold. We enter apartment number three and Zeke shuts the door behind us and he locks it. Zeke starts to undo his boots and I do the same. Zeke takes the coat off my shoulders and he hangs it up in a closet that is there in the small foyer. Zeke turns up the heat by five degrees to help warm me up.

Then Zeke takes me on a tour of his two bedroom apartment. Zeke shows me the guest room. The guest room has its own bathroom and Zeke says I can undress in here as the shower warms up. As I am in the shower Zeke will bring a change of clothes into the bedroom and leave them on the end of the bed so I can change into them. I thank Zeke for his hospitality and all he does is smile a warm smile. Zeke then leaves the room and he closes the bedroom door behind him. I turn the hot water on and undress. I leave my dirty clothes on the end of the bed and I trot to the shower. I climb into the hot shower and I wonder when I last showered. I stand under the hot water and let it beat down on my body. I feel the chill start to leave my body.

After I am stunningly clean and all dry when I enter the bedroom. As promised there is a fresh set of warm clothes on the end of the bed. The only problem that I have at the moment is my dirty clothes are missing. I quickly put on the red sweat pants and black t-shirt on and I exit the bedroom. I follow the scent of food being cooked to the kitchen. I find Zeke standing at the table placing two plates of scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, and toast onto the table. I stand there in awe for a moment. Zeke says to take a seat and brings me over a piping hot cup of coffee. Zeke sits down at the table with his own cup of coffee.

Zeke takes a bite of food as I ask, “What happened to my dirty clothes?”

Zeke says, “They are in the wash with my uniforms. I thought I would wash and dry them for you.”

I politely say, “Thank you so much for everything you have done for me.”

Zeke says, “I really haven’t done anything. But I would like to make you an offer.”

I softly reply, “Zeke, you have already done enough for me. Besides I really have to find something that looks familiar to me
and maybe that might jog my memory.”

Zeke says and his voice is deep and soothing, “That’s just the point.”

I ask, “What is?”

Zeke replies with concern, “You cannot remember anything except for your name. I cannot let you go back out there and wander the streets like that.”

I reply, “I’ll be okay as soon as I recognize something. My memories will probably return then.”

Zeke agrees in a way, “Maybe but they might not return at all either. What will you do if they don’t return?”

I did not think of that so I honestly answer, “I don’t know.”

Zeke says with mild force, “You really need to be seen at the hospital …”

I reply with alarm, “Zeke, I do not have any money what so ever. That is why I could not pay for a place to sleep last night.”

Zeke patiently says, “It is fine Lexis. All hospitals offer a free care program. All you have to do is fill out the required paperwork and you can use my address.”

I start to tear up again, “Zeke you are a wonderful, generous man …”

Zeke asks, “But?”

The tears reluctantly fall from my dark gray eyes, “I cannot let you do this. I do not want to take advantage of your kindness.”

Zeke gently says, “Lexis, to be honest with you, I never go down that alleyway because of the danger it holds. But for some reason today something kept pulling me in that direction until I could not fight it anymore. So I finally gave in and walked into the alleyway and I found you.”

I continue to quietly cry, “I don’t want to be a burden.”

Zeke says with passion, “You are no burden and I could use the company. You could also use the help. Stay here, we will get you to the hospital after breakfast, and you can rest.”

I say, “I don’t know.”

Zeke says, “Just until your memories return or at least start to return. I don’t want to see you wandering the streets without anyone looking after you especially in the condition you are in.”

I ask, “Are you sure about this?”

Zeke says, “I am positive.”

I reply, “Again thank you.”

Zeke and I clean off our plates after breakfast and we place the dirty plates into the dishwasher. Zeke checks the time. It is nine o’clock in the morning and Zeke asks me if I am ready to go to the hospital to get checked out. I reply by saying that I am as ready as I will ever be. We put our boots back on and Zeke lends me a coat so I can stay warm. I am grateful for the coat for the day seems to have gotten colder. We climb into Zeke’s car, a maroon four door sedan, and it warms up quickly when Zeke turns the heater on.

After a few moments Zeke puts the car into drive and drives us to Oakville General Hospital. As we drive I am looking around at everything that passes us by. I am still looking for something to trigger a memory but nothing does. We arrive at Oakville General Hospital and we enter the emergency room. We check in with a nurse who gives me a packet for free care today and I begin to fill it out as we wait to be seen. About forty-five minutes later I finish filling out the packet and I bring it back to the nurse who promises that she will submit the form for me.

Finally an hour later I am called to go back to the emergency department and I ask Zeke if he will accompany me. Zeke rises to his five foot eleven inch height and follows the nurse and I to the emergency department. I lay on a hospital cot and the nurse takes vital signs and reports my blood pressure is a little on the higher side and I state that I am really stressed out and she nods her head. Then she promises me that the doctor will be in shortly to see me. The nurse leaves the cubicle and I sit on the edge of the hospital cot. Zeke boosts himself up onto the cot beside me and he places a hand on top of my right hand.

Zeke says in a soft voice, “Everything is going to work out. We will get to the bottom of all of this one way or another.”

I ask, “Do you think this could be serious?”

Zeke says, “I hope not.”

I say, “I wish I could remember what happened and why I came to in the middle of a field.”

Zeke says, “That field is on the edge of Andre National Forest.”

I ask, “So you know the field I am talking about?”

Zeke says, “Yes I do. You look completely exhausted. I want you to lie down and try to get a little sleep before the doctor
comes in to see you.”

I say, “I’m really not that tired. I am more anxious than anything else.”

Zeke asks, “Would you at least lie down?”

I say, “Would you hold my hand? It’s comforting to me.”

Zeke smiles, “Of course. It will be okay Lexis.”

I lay down on the hospital cot and Zeke pulls up the only chair in the cubicle to the edge of the bed. Zeke holds my hand and I breathe deeply to relax my body and mind. As we wait for the doctor to come in we sit quietly. I keep running through my mind what happened. I woke up yesterday morning in an empty field in Andre National Forest. My head did ache but when I felt the back of my head there was no bump or bloody spot that would indicate that I was hit on the back of the head with a blunt object. I was dizzy, nauseous, and scared. I was alone. How the hell did I get there? Was I drugged? Did somebody get close enough to drug me? How could I have let my guard down enough to let somebody do that to me?

Finally Doctor Oliver Parker enters my little cubicle. Doctor Oliver Parker shakes my hand and he is on the younger side. If I had to guess I would say that Doctor Parker was in his mid to late thirties. The doctor asks me what brings me into the emergency department today. I recount about waking up in the field, my symptoms, and my loss of memory. Doctor Parker looks at me with a strange expression on his face. I do not think the doctor believes what I am telling him. I feel myself getting slightly angry especially when the doctor examines my head and finds no blood or bump.
Doctor Oliver Parker states, “Miss. West, I don’t think you are telling me the full truth for there is no evidence that there is trauma to your head.”

I state, “I know there is no bump or blood but something is seriously wrong.”

Doctor Oliver Parker asks, “What do you think is wrong?”

I am firm as I answer, “If I knew what was wrong I would not be sitting here.”

Doctor Oliver Parker asks me, “And you are convinced that something is going on?”

Zeke pipes up, “Yes, we are both convinced something is wrong for she cannot remember a god damn thing.”

Doctor Oliver Parker says, “Look, I do not think anything is wrong. I truly think you are making this entire thing up so I am discharging you.”

I am hurt, “You are really gonna send me back out into the world with no memory?”

Doctor Oliver Parks says, “You can stop with the lies Miss. West. I just don’t believe you.”

Zeke states with power, “I am going to schedule an appointment for Lexis with a neurologist and if we do find that
something is wrong I am going to make sure we sue you and the hospital for everything we can.”

Doctor Oliver Parker says, “You can do whatever you like.”

Zeke says with firmness, “Just bring us the discharge paperwork.”

Doctor Oliver Parker leaves the cubicle and I am overwhelmed by depression. This doctor did nothing to help me. These last five hours that we spent here at the hospital was a great waste of time. I glance at Zeke and tears are streaming down my cheeks. Zeke instantly hugs me and whispers that everything will be all right. How can this man have so much faith in me when a doctor does not believe a word I am saying? I ask Zeke this question and Zeke simply replies that he can see my fear and terror in my body language.

I sign my discharge paperwork and Zeke and I leave the hospital. Zeke and I climb into Zeke’s maroon car. I fasten my seat belt and I lose my composure. I start sobbing out of control. Zeke gently touches my shoulder which only makes me sob even more. How can I carry on? What the hell is wrong with me? What is happening? I do not understand any of this. I look over at Zeke and he gives me a weak smile and says there are napkins in the glove compartment. I take out a napkin and blow my nose and I angrily wipe the tears away. Crying in front of Zeke makes me feel ashamed and I say so.

Zeke says, “It is a normal reaction to what just happened.”

I ask, “Why do you believe in me?”

Zeke softly and gently says, “Because I see your body language. I actually listen to you. And I found you sleeping
outside my apartment building in the freezing cold. How can I not believe you?”

I shrug my shoulders, “I don’t know. All I know is that doctor in that hospital didn’t believe me.”

Zeke says, “That doctor was an asshole Lexis. He was not listening to what you had to say. If he did and actually look at you then he would have known you were telling the truth.”

I meet Zeke’s intense blue stare, “What am I going to do now?”

Zeke says with confidence, “We are going home. You are going to lay down and get some real sleep and I am going to call a neurologist and set up an appointment for you.”

I ask, “You would really do that for me?”

Zeke says, “That is what friends do. Besides I told you that we were going to get to the bottom of this no matter what.”

I say with heart, “Thank you for everything that you are doing for me and for putting me at ease.”
© Copyright 2020 JJ Del (jjdel73 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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